Melinda Ring: Strange Engagements – Danspace Project
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Melinda Ring: Strange Engagements

Photo: Melinda Ring.

There is no late seating for this performance. Please arrive on time!

Thursday, January 30, 8pm
Friday, January 31, 8pm
Saturday, February 1, 8pm


Choreographer Melinda Ring returns to Danspace Project with the all-new Strange Engagements, a highly physical, exuberant, and uninhibited work made for, and in collaboration with, an extraordinary group of dancers: Laurel Atwell, Talya Epstein, Paul Hamilton, Sam Kim, and Rainey White. Constructed from the dancers’ improvisations — research in which Ring asked them to act as a conduit channeling complex shared rhythms and inner music — this work is driven from within.

The dancers plunge into private combinations, often with separate agendas, while flashes of form and pattern illuminate the deliberateness of the polyrhythmic chaos. Like Ring’s X (2010), which premiered 10 years ago at Danspace Project, Strange Engagements is deeply musical, yet danced almost completely in silence — its unheard anthem loud and driving.

“The thrill of Strange Engagements is in watching the performers navigate its considerable performative demands,” writes Ring. “What I want to say is that this dance is going to be nuts, strong and rhythmic, monstrously intricate. They are going to dance the heck out of it.”

Created by: Melinda Ring in collaboration with Performers: Laurel Atwell, Talya Epstein, Paul Hamilton, Sam Kim, and Rainey White


Accessibility Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Melinda Ring, choreographer, born in Los Angeles, CA, has lived and worked in New York since 2001. She creates dances, performance pieces, videos and installations. Ring is a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artist awardee, a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in choreography from The New York Foundation for the Arts. Recent works have also been commissioned and supported by The Kitchen (2009, 2014), The Box Los Angeles, The Chocolate Factory, Yaddo (2014), Headlands Center for the Arts (1999, 2012), Whitman College (2016-2018), Annenberg Foundation (Metabolic Studio) (2012), Danspace Project (2020, 2010), Movement Research (2019, AIR 2005, 2014-2016), Bennington College (AIR 2018), and Gibney Dance Center (DiP 2016, 2013). She has developed programing as an artist-curator for Danspace Project (Platform 2011: Susan Rethorst: Retro(intro)spective). Contact Quarterly devoted Chapbook 6 to Forgetful Snow (2014). Educated Bennington College (MFA) and University of California, Los Angeles (BA); Critic in sculpture, Yale School of Art, 2014 – present; visiting Lecturer in Dance, UCLA, Spring 2016 (Movement Research exchange program).

The creation of Strange Engagements was made possible, in part, by the Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative and Production Residency Program with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This work was made possible, in part, through a 2019 Movement Research Residency, funded by the Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund. Initial development of this work was supported through a Bennington College Dance Program residency. Production support was provided by the friends of Special Projects.

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